Happy birthday, People! See you next year?

The rulers of this country have always worried that common voters don’t have what it takes to preserve the republic. This is why our system explicitly vests power in officials, not plebiscites. Today, we have a Supreme Court trying to wrest power from the people, as they claim it resides in the ‘original’ intent of some dead heroes. We have an Executive that’s built clandestine administrative structures which operate consistently no matter who gets elected. We have a legislature that openly designs law to promote government by a tiny financial elite. There are good reasons for all of this.

Meanwhile, the high art of managing public opinion seems nearly perfected. We vote for what gets us excited. We vote against what we’re afraid of. We’re given our daily opinions by charismatic folks who make us feel stupid if we don’t agree, and part of the great winning team if we do.

Two hundred thirty-four years ago, the bet was, give the commoners an election, and they’ll vote for the right set of elites. So far, we’ve been ahead, because some of those elites have always seen the health of the people as their own best hope for power. They’ve promoted the general welfare because it’s been in their private interests to do so. This is the United States. We’re going to keep betting until we lose.

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